At our school, we take the National Eisteddfod Academy (NEA) of South Africa competition quite seriously. We believe that this is a great way for children to stay focused on one project, finish it well and work towards an ultimate goal. The NEA also played a pivotal role in our founder Lillian Gray’s art journey and career. Read Lillian’s Eisteddfod story here.
Ok so for you as a parent, what can you expect for the Eisteddfod and what are the rules of engagement? Well here is a short summary of how this all works. Hope this is helpful and if anything unclear, contact Lillian to assist with your child’s projects.
The Theme for 2019
The theme for the NEA visual arts runs for two consecutive years. So this year will be the same as 2018. In 2020 we will be receiving new themes. The 3 options for 2019 are…
A NEW DAWN
MY COUNTRY MY PEOPLE
THIS MAKES SOUTH AFRICA GREAT
All artworks entered should be inspired by any of these 3 themes.
Which Medium is my child allowed to enter?
- Drawing – this includes pencil sketches, soft pastels, oil pastels and charcoal.
- Painting – Acrylic Paint, Oil Paint and watercolour
- Mixed Media – this section includes an artwork that makes use of various mediums in one 2 dimensional pieces.
- Sculpture – Recycled Material, Clay or wire.
- Printmaking – Linocuts or Wood Cuts
- Photography – even though we don’t teach photography in our classes – we are organising a photography workshop with the talented Antoinette Reinecke to prepare our kids for Eisteddfod. This workshop will be held on a weekend at an additional cost to the parents. More info to follow soon.
The above list is all the mediums we can assist your child with, in our studio. All these supplies are included in your monthly fee.
What size must the artwork be?
Not less than A5 or exceed A2 size. It is preferred that white paper should be used. NO ENTRY should be mounted or framed. Sculpture and Pottery maximum dimensions allowed 40 cm x 40 cm x 40 cm
How many entries may my child enter?
As many as they like. There is a cost to the entry fee so it depends on your budget as a parent. For those doing Eisteddfod for the first time, we recommend one entry. For students in Grade R – Grade 2 we recommend one entry. Our students that are older and more focused on their art tend to enter 4 entries each.
What’s the process? Do I need to do all this with my child?
No please don’t.
Lillian will be meeting with each child for 15 mins to brainstorm and develop their Eisteddfod Ideas for 2019. These meetings will happen during their normal art classes with the other teachers. They will also have a focused lesson on Eisteddfod each month with Lillian. Teacher Jadri will be assisting them paintings and Teacher Martie with the sculptures.
What can I do as a parent to help?
#1 Motivate & Encourage. The Eisteddfod journey can be long, but it is well worth it. The little ones Gr R – 2 might lose a bit of hope along the way, but it is all part of the lesson. It teaches perseverance and makes them “art fit” The older kids might get swamped with exams and other school obligations, but this is why we are starting now so that by the time Exams start Eisteddfod is no longer an added burden.
#2 Assist at home. It really is helpful to us if after the brainstorming session the children have already drawn out their ideas on their A2 papers at home. This enables us to focus only the relevant medium in class. Once the kids are well away on their project they are allowed to work at home and then do the finishing touches in the studio with us. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE is a parent, aunt, uncle, friend allowed to assist them or even touch the artwork. IT IS VITAL that the artwork is the child’s done by their own hands. Us, as an art school is allowed to train and guide them, but never ever do it for them. It’s like a coach for an athlete. We can cheer, suggest changes, give exercises but never run the race for them. Cheating will not be tolerated at all.
#3 Collect Junk. Yes, we need bottle caps, lots of buttons and plastic straws. Please gather these for us and hand it in at the reception. Make a fun “Let’s save the planet” “Let’s recycle” activity with the kids.
And that concludes all you need to know for now.